Football is a multi-millionaire pound industry but bizarrely rewards failure with huge contracts. The cult of the football manager means Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew can command huge wages and they have both got new jobs with Premier League clubs. Everton and West Brom respectively will now benefit from their experience but neither manager has come close to winning the Premier League or Champions League. Clubs facing the nightmare scenario of relegation to the Championship will hire managers who are more about style than substance.
Its an occupational hazard that a football manager will get sacked. Sir Alex Ferguson “carried his bat” to retirement but he was one of a kind. Arsene Wenger has used up most of his lives with Arsenal but he has now passed his 20 years of service. He will be in charge when Arsenal welcome Manchester United to the Emirates in the late live match on Saturday. Wenger and Jose Mourinho don’t get on and it will be a matter of pride to get one over the other. Mourinho could have the last laugh this time.
Arsenal and Wenger are weathering yet another storm this season. Social media pundits and fans on YouTube have been calling for the manager’s head for years now but Arsenal have turned a corner. Beating local rivals Tottenham can repair much damage but Arsenal have won five in six league matches and are now fourth. They have scored 28 goals in 14 matches and conceded 16. Only the two Manchester clubs have scored more goals but five teams have conceded fewer.
United have also won their last three league matches and are now firing on all cylinders. Paul Pombo was a huge miss but he is again dominating the midfield and Zlatan is back! Wayne Rooney is not being missed but anyway he’s finished. Couldn’t hit a barn door that guy. Terrible to see a strike in decline. Should make a dignified exit and move to China. Anyway one can hit a perfectly flighted half volley from halfway and make the current England goalie look stupid. Goal of the season?
United can beat Arsenal without Rooney and by then another United could be in trouble. Newcastle visit Chelsea for the early match on the back of four defeats in their last six matches and just one win. Manager Rafa Benitez knows the time of day but if the players are not good enough he can’t produce miracles. There are stories about Mike Ashby selling the club and a new broom could have a positive affect. The man who made fortunes from selling training shoes knows the price of a deal. On the field things will get worse before better and that means losing at Chelsea.
West Ham are doing Newcastle a favour by occupying one of the relegation places. David Moyes has failed in his last three jobs but West Ham are paying him a fortune. The unhappy Hammers are hopeless and any team that can make Everton look good must be in trouble. Rooney’s worldie apart West Ham were second best in every department when losing 4-0 at Everton this week. A match at Manchester City is hardly going to improve matters and City should win to nil on Sunday. A goal in the 95th minute secured maximum points against Southampton this week.
As local derbies go the south coast dust up between Bournemouth and Southampton is not a huge occasion in most parts of the world. However, it is one of the matches of the season for the locals and it will be a passionate affair on Sunday. Southampton are four places and two points ahead of their opponents in this match but Bournemouth can leapfrog them with a home win. Both clubs seem destined for mid-table safety, clear of relegation issues and not in contention for European qualification. Arsenal and Manchester United are competing for second place behind City.